WELCOME TO MODELING 101!!!

There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tips for Getting Your Makeup Professionally Done


As a model you will be required to wear makeup. This aspect of the job can occur in a number of ways: having a makeup artist on the set of your shoot, doing it yourself, or making an appointment to have your makeup done professionally beforehand.

Models with agency representation will almost always have the luxury of having a makeup artist on the set of their shoots—that’s the upside of having an agent because they’ll book you for gigs that take care of all that stuff for you so all you have to do is show up.

Freelance models can use one of the two options stated above, which is to do your makeup yourself or make an appointment to get it done. If you’re lucky, your freelance gigs may already have someone on-hand to do your makeup but more often than not, freelance clients will require models to arrive on the set with their makeup ready.

For you makeup gurus who already know how to make your face look fabulous on your own, kudos to you! Being able to do professional quality makeup yourself will save you time and money. For those of you who aren’t pros at applying makeup for a shoot (mind you that makeup for modeling jobs are much different than the makeup you’d wear going out for the day or even out to the club) or who don’t want to deal with being responsible for your own makeup, you have the convenient alternative of booking an appointment with a makeup artist at your local shopping center.

MAC, Clinique and Sephora are one of the many makeup brands that do makeovers for customers either by walk-in or appointment. Of course if you need makeup for a shoot, it’s best to schedule an appointment. On the occasions when I need my makeup to be top-notch, I make appointments to get my makeup done at a MAC store. They will do your makeup under the condition that you buy at least $50 worth of products, which isn’t bad if you ask me.

Usually I’ll buy the items they’ve used on me that day if I really like the results and want to recreate it myself at home in the future. Some MAC stores even offer a private backroom away from being on the main floor, where you’re subjected to nosy passersby. The cost of the backroom is a flat $50 fee, which means you only have to pay for the room and aren’t obligated to buy any products.

Make sure to call your local MAC store and ask which they offer. Remember if you get your makeup done on the main floor of the makeup store or at the makeup counter within a department store, the makeup artists are required by their managers to help customers first. Customers being a priority means one thing: even though you made the appointment and are there receiving a service, if a walk-in customer needs help, your assigned makeup artist must tend to that customer if one of their coworkers is not able to.

This can create an annoying delay in your makeover but it’s a part of the process so it helps to know what to expect ahead of time. They aren’t trying to be rude or neglect you but they do have a job to do, so keep that in mind. No need for a diva moment!

If the makeup store you choose does not offer a private backroom without customer interruption, I suggest allowing at least an hour for your makeup to get done. Try to choose the earliest appointment to avoid being in the store during peak hours when everyone is there. Getting your makeup done during a slow period will get you in and out without much hassle. It’s also best to make enough time to get your makeup done without running late for your gig.

Here are some helpful tips for those who need to make an appointment to get their makeup done for a modeling gig:
  • Arrive with a cleansed and well-moisturized face. Oftentimes they may apply a moisturizer on top of what you have, which is okay. Just make sure you don’t have dry and flaky skin. Also make sure your lips are thoroughly moisturized with plain, non-colored lip balm.
  • Bring a scarf or head band to tie your hair back from your face if you’re wearing it down. Applying foundation can get a little messy and has to be applied up to your hairline so having any strands in the way will not only be annoying, you may get makeup up on it.
  • Wear a button-up shirt you don’t have to pull over your head and that you don’t mind getting dirty. This will avoid the possibility of smearing your makeup or getting your outfit dirty. If you have to wear your outfit to the makeup appointment, bring a towel or cloth to wear around your neck to keep makeup off your clothes.
  • Have an idea of what makeup look you want before you get there. Be sure to choose a look that goes with whatever the theme or nature of the shoot is: dramatic, youthful, glamour, editorial, fashion, commercial, etc. For more accurate results, Google image matching what you have in mind and bring it with you for the artist to reference. This saves a lot of time and effort, not to mention that you’ll know exactly what you’ll be getting. ***It helps to get pictures of models with your same skin tone and complexion. What looks great on a light-skinned model may not look the great on darker skin and vice-versa. Try to use pictures of models who are of the same ethnicity as you, if not the same skin color.***
  • Want to learn how to recreate your makeup look yourself? Ask for a mirror and have the makeup artist explain what they are doing, how they are doing it and what tools they are using. This is a great way of getting a quick tutorial on how to apply certain types of makeup. With that knowledge and plenty of practice, you’ll eventually be able to do your own makeup for your shoots.
  • Don’t get too excited about purchasing products. I can’t tell you how easy it is to go overboard and spend way more than your required limit. Makeup artists are excellent salespeople and they can easily convince you to buy more than you’ll actually need or even want. So practice self-control and only buy the items that you know you’ll use often.
  • I’ve found it extremely helpful to have false lashes applied during my makeovers. From glam to simple enhancers, having the right set of lashes can make a dramatic difference in your photos unless you already have naturally thick and full eyelashes.  They usually don’t cost much and since you can’t take them back after wearing it, you’ll have to pay for them anyway so learn how to use false lashes to your benefit. I find them very helpful for fashion shows and during shoots where the focus is on my face. Your makeup artist will show you how to choose the right ones for your needs.
  • Try to work with the same makeup artist for your gigs. Having someone who is already familiar with your face and skin cuts down on the whole introduction part and helps to speed up the process. If you have a friend who is good at makeup and can do it for you at their house or if they work for a makeup store, contact them first and if they aren’t available, have them refer you to someone they trust will do a good job or is skilled in the same makeup looks that your friend does.
  • Communicate with your makeup artist. Let them know what your shoot is for and the type of look you want. Be sure to know your skin type and how your skin responds to makeup. Also note whether you’ll be shooting in a studio or outdoors. That piece of information alone will determine whether the makeup artist will need products that contain SPF for outdoors or matte foundation to eliminate the shine from studio lighting. 
To avoid being unhappy with your results, let the makeup artist know each step of the way if you like what they are doing. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions or point out things. Be nice about it but don’t just smile and act like everything looks great when it doesn’t. It’s your face and their work you’ll be displaying so it’s important that you both put forth your best effort.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hair Care Tips


As a model or potential model, it is important to take care of yourself from head to toe. That includes not only your skin/complexion and your body but your hair as well. Having a healthy and naturally shiny mane of hair is a very desirable trait for a model to possess, especially female models.

Most male models won’t have to deal too much with their hair so this post will be of more interest to the ladies. Of course that doesn’t men you fellas should neglect your hair.

You may not think much of the role hair plays in the modeling industry but having a good head of hair is like icing on the cake in terms of model attributes. A good head of hair can make all the difference during a photoshoot, not to mention that having excellent hair is also vital for hair show modeling and beauty modeling. It isn’t very appealing to see a model with a gorgeous face, excellent figure but horribly damaged hair. You always want to present yourself in the best light so you’ve got to keep everything on point.

You never want your hair to appear dull, greasy, fried or eaten by split ends. This type of hair is very unattractive. Even Photoshop corrections can be too tedious when dealing with hair. The better off your tresses are to begin with, the easier you make things on the photographer and everyone involved in the process.

One of the best ways to maintain good, healthy hair is to create and establish an easy hair care routine. If you’ve already got one in place that’s been helping, then keep up the great job. For those who aren’t too sure if what they’re doing is good or bad for their hair, it helps to get a consultation from a stylist or the next time you go into your local salon for a trim, ask your hair stylist if they think your hair is healthy and if they have any professional advice or tips for you to follow.

Expect them to recommend buying their store’s hair products to use, which tend to be pricey, but bypass that part and pay attention to any suggestions they may offer about how to handle your hair on a daily basis. Hopefully they will be of some help.

When it comes to choosing the right products, you may want to do a test of different brands and see which ones your hair responds best to. If samples of these products are available for free, go that route to avoid purchasing stuff that may not work or that you’ll never use again. As with skin types, knowing your hair type will also guide you as to which products you should use.

People with permed, relaxed, or dyed hair will want to use products made specifically for color-treated or chemically stressed hair. The wear and tear chemicals and other hair treatments cause are often responsible for split ends, breakage and dry hair.

Deep conditioning works wonders for hair of any type. Photoshoots with hair stylists on-set tend to fill your hair up with spritzes, sprays and pomades as well as other products that can leave your hair feeling heavy and your scalp gunky afterwards. Doing a good deep conditioning treatment on your locks once a week or as needed is an excellent way to keep your hair and scalp healthy and clean from roots to tips.

You can find deep conditioning products at any store, or check out the nearest beauty supply store if you’re looking for a specific brand. Be sure to follow the directions on the label for best results. Most only require being left in the hair for 5-10 minutes and then rinsing. After a few uses, you’ll notice your hair will have a natural sheen and softness. That’s the sign of happy hair.

Getting your ends regularly trimmed can also help you with the health of your hair. If you’re prone to bad split ends or breakage, snipping those troublesome ends off every 6-8 week—or however long it takes for your hair to grow normally—will take care of that.

Leaving split ends untreated can cause your hair to break off at different lengths, creating an unkempt and unsightly appearance—even if you’ve styled your hair (I’m sure you’ve seen at least one or two girls with long, flowing hair filled with odd, light colored specks—those are the split ends). Trimming is different than cutting your hair so make that clear to your hair stylist to avoid a bad or unnecessary cut.

Permed, relaxed and dyed hair is already exposed to some damage due to the chemicals present. This means that the people who get these treatments done need to step up their hair care efforts more than the average person who doesn’t do anything chemically to their hair. If your tresses are fried, feel crunchy or dry, stop using those treatments and put your hair into a rigorous TLC schedule of deep conditioning with a product designed for severely damaged hair.

If you’ve got bad hair habits, cut them out! These include: constantly touching your hair or running your fingers through them (whatever you’ve been touching during the day can be transferred to your hair), chewing on the ends (trust me, I know people who do this), picking at split ends or breaking them off individually, using alcohol based hair products and putting too much heat on your hair daily. Can’t bear to live without using heated styling tools on your hair? Then invest in thermal hair products that will protect your lovely locks from heat damage.

One helpful hair care tip I learned about a few years ago and live by is to sleep on a satin pillowcase. Whether you toss and turn in your sleep or hardly move, your strands tend to get smashed and can get snagged on a pillowcase and pulled out in the process (how many times have you woken up to find stray hairs scattered or stuck to your pillow?).

As harmless as it may seem, this can also contribute to minor hair damage over time. So toss those cotton pillowcases and invest in some comfy satin ones (they actually don’t cost much depending on where you buy them from). The material is much smoother than cotton and allows your hair to glide along the surface without getting snagged and pulled out, and it’s also good for your complexion.

This may make me sound like a broken record but even what you eat and drink can affect the status of your hair. Adding water to your daily diet allows your hair to grow healthy and strong, and consuming the right amount of vitamins and minerals in combination with a good multivitamin also promotes hair growth, strength, shine, strong roots and a healthy scalp.

Key vitamins and minerals to include in your daily diet include: B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, sulfur, silica, folic acid, beta-carotene (found in green and yellow fruits and veggies), protein (wheat germ, fish, eggs, beans, yogurt, soy), among many others.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Latest Featured Model Gig


I'm excited to announce that I have been chosen as the featured model for a pretty cool website called Indie Music Stop. They're a site that focuses on the music scene and more specifically giving exposure to indie artists.

I came across their post for models to feature on their site while cruising through my typical websites and it just so happens that I had done a shoot a few months back with guitars. I thought it would be really cool to send those photos in and the folks at Indie Music Stop loved it. I just got the email notifying me that my photos and feature are currently up on the site. My feature will be up for 2 weeks and a link will be provided after it's been taken down.

I included a screen shot of part of my feature in the photo associated with this post. If you want to see the whole thing, click HERE. I'll definitely be adding this page as a web tearsheet to my portfolio, which will hopefully be the start of many more to come!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Models Who Also Act


For those who aren’t just into modeling but acting as well, you have many more options available to you since you are not limited to the modeling industry. My best piece of advice for you “well-rounded” entertainer types is to sign with a talent agency instead of a modeling agency.

You’ll find that it is much easier to kill two birds with one stone. Imagine the run around and time commitment you’d need if you had not only a modeling agency representing you but a talent agency as well!

Many talent agencies also have modeling divisions and a lot have the name “Model & Talent” within their names so it’s fairly easy to tell which ones represent both. There are loads of talent agencies that work with the same types of clients that the top modeling agencies do so don’t think that you’re sacrificing the credibility of work by going to a talent agency over a modeling agency.

Having the ability to act and perform on-camera in addition to modeling skills can make you a very valuable asset to a talent agency because this greatly increases the types of gigs they can submit you to. The more castings, auditions, and go-sees you attend, the greater your chances are of booking jobs. This means your agency makes their commission and you get your piece of the pie more often, assuming you’ve got what it takes to snag the job each time of course.

The advantage to having one agent for both acting and modeling also helps to simplify the process overall. You’d only have to deal with one contract, one office, and one group of agency people.

If you are a model who has the desire to act but wants to sign with a modeling agency and then cross over into acting, this approach can be more difficult for you as well as time-consuming. Being with a talent agency doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get submitted to more acting gigs than modeling gigs. That all depends on the season and what type of work is available in those areas—some months out of the year are ideal for acting gigs while other months are best for modeling.

It also depends on which area of the entertainment industry your agent thinks you’ve got the most potential in. But don’t feel bad if you sign with a talent agency and you don’t get to do as much modeling as you’d like or vice-versa. If your talent agent is any good, they will be able to work with you to book the gigs you want to do. Be sure to express those interests when meeting with them and negotiating the contract.

Have a clear idea of where you see your career heading and what type of work you are hoping for your agent to find for you and see what happens. Don’t limit yourself if you’ve got skills that go beyond modeling. In this case, have your cake and eat it, too!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Face Value: Model Skin


Read the next sentence very carefully: to be a model you do not need to have perfect skin but you do need to have good skin. There is a big difference. It’s funny to me how much we throw the word “perfect” around in the modeling industry.

The only “perfect” there is comes from Photoshop so don’t get sucked into that frame of mind that you need to be uber perfect in order to get your foot in the door.

Good skin simply means that you have a complexion that is free of scars, noticeable discoloration, huge zits, blemishes, and the like. That’s not to say that you cannot ever have a zit or blemish—that’s pretty ridiculous—even the top models have bad skin days…it happens and it’s completely natural. To start off in modeling, having fairly clear skin is a great step in the right direction.

If you have past scars or other skin issues, this won’t necessarily put you out of the game because makeup can be used to cover those things up, but it would also be in your best interest to do what you can skin care-wise to ensure that your skin is at its best once you start making your rounds to agencies.

Pay attention to your skin and what it is telling you. Being able to know what your skin wants and how to make it happy when it’s upset is key to knowing how to tackle any skin issues that may come your way. Knowing your skin type is very important as well.

Once you know your skin type, you’ll be able to take care of it with the right products and avoid the things that will make it flawed. Visit a dermatologist if you feel that your complexion isn’t quite up to par for modeling or need alternative measures to help you out with a current skin problem.

For the ladies, if you know your skin gets crazy during “that time of the month,” do your best to work around it and be more diligent in your skin care routine during this time until your complexion is back to normal. Male models, pay attention to you grooming habits, techniques and products you use on your skin, including razors and electric shavers.

Remember, what you eat also has an effect on the health and condition of your skin. Start eating right if you aren’t doing so already. Just making subtle changes in your eating habits and making better food choices can turn your skin around in a matter of weeks.

Bottom line: you don’t need to have flawless, perfect skin to be a model. Simply taking proper care of your skin each day and avoiding bad habits should be more than enough to keep your complexion clear and smooth. And don’t worry or stress if you have a bad skin day…that’s not going to decrease your chances. With good skin care, those bad skin days will be rare anyway.

Modeling & Job Security


I touched on this subject in one of my recent posts but I felt that it deserved its own post because I believe strongly in smart planning, especially when it comes to your future. To get things started, let me just say that it isn’t realistic to expect to do modeling forever. As obvious as that statement may seem, you’d be surprised at how many people still fail to heed the warning.

It is extremely difficult to make modeling a full-time career in the real world. Modeling has a short life span and if you weren’t blessed with great genetics and/or haven’t been taking good care of your skin and body, your career could dwindle as the years go by.

Because the majority of models start out young, usually within the preteen or teenage group, I find that it is essential that these young girls and guys understand the reality of the industry and not just living for the moment, but preparing for what will happen when their modeling career eventually slows down or stops altogether.

There are many aspiring and already established models who have other interests in addition to modeling, who go to school/college and/or hold down regular jobs…and that’s wonderful. However, not all of those model hopefuls out there have planned that far ahead or they are still very inexperienced or naïve when it comes to life situations and I feel that this post will help serve them the best.

When you decide to pursue modeling and manage to sign with an agency—even a top one—you are working as an independent contractor. That means that you are working with your agency on an “as needed” basis. Being with a modeling agency does not mean you are a working “employee” of any kind. Your agency is not technically your “boss” or “supervisor.”

So what is the difference between being a working employee of a business and being an independent contractor? A couple things… the first being that as an independent contractor you are on your own and do not have a company to back you up in terms of benefits.

What’s the big deal about that? Let’s see…

1) you aren’t entitled to healthcare, vision, dental or even vacation time

2) you aren’t enrolled in or entitled to a 401(k) plan (for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a savings plan that allows you to put away a small percentage of your earnings into an account for when you retire

3) there is no job security. If you are still living with your parents and aren’t of legal age, then most of this won’t be a concern for you right now but if you continue to model until you are of age and are no longer allowed to be under your parents in terms of healthcare, you will have to deal with these issues.

Even if you are too young to worry about stuff like retirement, it is pretty obvious that modeling isn’t a surefire career path, nor should you come to rely on it as one. Many models make a steady living off their earnings as a model in addition to other forms of income but I would suggest you avoid putting all of your eggs into one basket when it comes to chasing the model dream.

Even if you do make it and become a working model, always have a backup plan, job or other career goal. As great as modeling is, the skills you learn are not needed anywhere else except within the modeling industry itself. This means that a model who knows nothing but being a model will enter the real world ill equipped and unprepared for the future, unless they find a job within the modeling industry, which may be a possibility. Do not let yourself be one of those people.

No one should be naïve enough to believe that being a model will last forever or be responsible for getting them through life. I definitely believe in pursuing your dreams but do so in a realistic and smart way. As I like to say, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” Always be prepared.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Printing Your Own Comp Cards:


This is an added post to the topic I wrote about dealing with creating your own comp cards in Photoshop. After creating them, the next step obviously is to print them!

Of course you don’t want to just go to anyone and since you’ll be paying out of pocket for it, you’ll want to make sure to find a printing company that offers affordable services without compromising the quality.

Not lucky enough to own a printer that can easily spit out clear and top quality digital images? Then I suggest researching various printing places. You could go with FedEx Kinko’s since they are the most conveniently located company but because they don’t technically specialize in comp card printing, you may not be happy with the results and personally and professionally, I wouldn’t recommend using them for this particular project.

Of course if you have successfully had Kinko’s print out your comp cards with no issue, then by all means stick to it. Or if you want to have them print out a test copy to see what it would look like, that’s fine, too.

If you want to deal with a company that has experience in this type of printing for your modeling purposes, here are a few websites you can check out:

www.compcardexpress.com

www.productscanonline.com

www.otlgraphics.com

http://www.modelmayhem.com/shop/print

Make sure to choose a card stock that is durable and won’t bend easily. The last thing you want is to have an accident and waste money on a bunch of comp cards that are bent and creased. The process of putting together an order for comp cards through a printing company is fairly easy and many offer simple step-by-step directions from beginning to end.

Depending on how much money you have to spend, don’t worry about going over the top. If this is your first time printing comp cards, keep it simple until you get familiar with the process and have your comp cards in your hands. Remember, these aren’t going to be framed so they don’t have to super fancy or contain every feature that the printing company offers.

Most printing companies offer different quantity amounts for ordering your comp cards but it is highly unlikely you’ll be able to order only 10 or even 50. Many start their quantities at 100+ copies. How many will you actually need? While it can be overkill, you can safely start out with between 100-250 copies.

Freelance models will find that their comp cards will go pretty fast, especially if you are diligent about getting them out for networking purposes. And if you run out, simply order more. But don’t go overboard and order 500 or more or else you may be stuck with a lot of copies. You never want to just throw your comp cards out there.

While it is important to get them circulated, plan where, when and who you’ll be distributing them to. Your comp card is your business card so it’s important that you still treat them with care in handing them out and not just chucking them at anyone you run into.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Modeling and (GASP!) That Time of the Month


Okay, if you're a guy, take the hint from the title and photo and skip this post! LOL. Now I'm assuming we're all somewhat mature so I can talk about this topic without too much flack or giggling...

It may not have crossed your mind but as a female we cannot escape that dreaded "time of the month" and not only can it ruin a good day, it can also pose as an annoying problem during your modeling.

So what should you do when it comes to PMS and your modeling career? Being that it only happens once a month you won't have to worry about this subject too much. However, there may be that one day when you know you've got a shoot coming up and you just start your period or won't be done with it in time. What to do?

Before freaking out, figure out if it's even something you should be stressing out about. If you're doing a shoot involving full clothing, then obviously, PMS is not going to be an issue. Even wearing a dress or skirt during that time of the month can be your little secret. Just be sure to properly cover yourself so that you don't ruin the outfit. If you are wearing white on the bottom, then you may want to mentally tell yourself to be extra careful in how you pose.

Many models work during their period with no problem at all. Now if you are scheduled for a swimwear shoot or are a glamour model and intend on doing an implied nude or nude oriented shoot, you may run into some issues. Swimwear-wise you can simply turn to the trusty tampon as a solution. If you are not a fan of tampons, then a strategically placed panty liner will do the trick. Just make sure you aren't required to be in the water of it'll be a horrifically embarrassing moment.

Glamour models who plan on doing a nude or implied nude shoot may want to reschedule or let the photographer know the situation and work around it. If your flow is really heavy, then your best bet would be to reschedule your shoot if possible. This is easy for freelance models to do but if you've got an agent who has booked you, you'll have to do some damage control.

Agency represented models should not be embarrassed to tell their agent that they may run into problems with the shoot because of PMS. It's a natural process that can't be helped so you aren't going to get blamed or chewed out.

If anything, let your agent know your situation and get their advice. They will guide you accordingly so be honest and let them know what's up. Then take it from there. These things can be worked around so don't pretend everything is fine and then risk trouble during the shoot.

***Before reading the rest of this post, I need to make a disclaimer to keep from receiving hate mail from parents, etc. The following paragraph talks about using birth control pills to regulate and skip your period in order to save yourself from having to cancel a shoot due to PMS. BUT I am not suggesting that your underage daughter go out and get on BCP. I am mentioning this alternative for those who are already on birth control who have not thought about skipping in order to help them out. I do not condone getting on BCP simply to skip your period so you can model so models and parents, please do not read into this post too literally. It is up to you (or your parents) to decide if you want to get on BCP for WHATEVER reason so I am not trying to fill anyone's heads with extreme ideas that will get them in trouble. The last thing I want is for some parent to email me and tell me they found out their daughter is on the pill because I told her to go on it.***

For those of you wondering how to get around the whole ordeal entirely I will say that if you are already on birth control, there is an alternative to help you out. Not all BCP works the same so be sure you actually have the kind that has three weeks of pills and one week of placebos. In case you didn't know, BCP allows you to "skip" your period if you choose to.

How is this possible? Instead of taking your fourth week of placebo pills--which triggers your body to start menstruating--simply skip those and move onto your next pack. This method is entirely safe and any gyno will tell you so. Of course you don't want to make it a habit so it's best to use that method only if you need to.

Again, I will say that I am not telling anyone to go out and get on BCP for this reason alone. If PMS and modeling has not been a problem for you in the past, then this topic won't even be of much interest to you. However, there are those that can benefit from what I've talked about.

The bottom line: PMS is natural and being on your period during a shoot will not jeopardize it as long as you are careful. Seek advice from your agent if you feel your PMS will interfere with a scheduled shoot. Pads, tampons, and the right posing can allow you to still do your thing without fear.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Exceptions to the Rule

Let's talk about the exceptions to the rule. The debate over height in the modeling world is one that continues to rage on and will continue to do so for many years. The fashion industry believes in continuing the age old tradition of using tall models for everything from editorial work to runway shows.

For those who think the opposite, their favorite example to use is Kate Moss. Okay, we all know that Kate is the icon when it comes to short models. Whether you believe she's really 5'5" or 5'6" or 5'7", it goes without saying that she is definitely one of the lucky gals.

Why another has yet to come right on her heels to be the next exception to the rule is beyond me. I guess Kate Moss is the prime example of being at the right place at the right time. Will another eventually appear in the next few years? Even I can't attempt to answer that one.

In addition to providing Kate Moss as a reason why shorter models should be used in fashion, many other people are also quick to point out celebrities who have been used in everything from marketing campaigns to fashion shows.

Christina Aguilera, Scarlett Johansson, and Beyonce are just a small handful of shorter gals (most of them are between 5'1"-5'6") who are used to prove this point. But as much as I agree with the fact that the fashion industry needs to include shorter models as well as the taller ones, I have to be a jerk and point out a flaw in using such individuals as proof to the cause.

If it hasn't already become apparently obvious to you, these same celebrities are not models. They are not booking these huge campaigns and appearing on the runways because they are signed models who worked their way up or who were discovered and became "it" models overnight. They are there because of their celebrity status--not to prove that shorter models belong on the runway.

As much as the fashion industry is in love with tall models, they are not stupid. They won't hesitate to put a short celebrity on the runway or in an ad campaign because they know their face, name and celeb status will sell the product. And in the end, that's what this industry is all about: selling the product, brand, company, etc. to make money. That's what it all boils down to.

Am I glad to see the shorter celebs pursue these avenues? Of course! But I don't find it very accurate to turn to those particular cases to argue why the height for runway and editorial models should be more open. Kate Moss is so far the only legit example I am aware of that would apply to the debate.

Of course, there is also Devon Aoki, whose height is still being debated. Sources close to her say she is actually 5'4", while her agency at the time listed her as 5'5"-5'6". Who knows? But then again, she is a rare exception to the rule because Kate Moss was her mentor. You could be 4'11" but if you know Kate Moss, she could get you on any runway with the biggest designers.

So what's the point of this post? All I'm saying is that while it would be wonderful to see all heights represented in fashion and runway, we still have a long way to go. Don't confuse the success of an actress or singer in a modeling campaign and think that they are representing shorter models. These women are not models and were solely selected because of their star power.

It's great that there are exceptions to the rule but it's going to take more than that to make new rules. Definitely don't let the height barrier stop you but just realize that what happened to Kate and Devon has only happened in the past few years and no one has yet to join their ranks. That speaks volumes about the odds of one of us "shorties" making the runway cut.

I hope I see the day when models under 5'8" will grace the runway or when petite modeling gets the attention and recognition it deserves. Until then, we've got to make do with what we have and hope that there are a few more Kate Mosses hanging around to change the industry once again.

Rejection is a Part of Model Life

This isn't a perfect world and we don't always get what we want. Unfortunately, the same is also true for modeling. There could be the greatest event you want to try out for and you give it your best...and you don't get it. While it can be a crushing feeling, it is a part of the territory.

For newer models, it can be very frustrating and damaging to the ego to be turned down for a gig, whether you have an agency representing you or if you're doing on your own through freelance. Even the well-known models don't get all of the jobs, surprisingly.

I just want to tell you that it's okay to not book everything you try out for. You do win some, and lose some. The best thing to do instead of getting down about it, is to pick yourself up and keep it moving. There are other gigs out there that you can go for and there is no shortage of projects that need models. Sometimes you may go through a bad streak where you may not book a gig for weeks or even months. Even though it really sucks, it is a part of the process.

If you have reason to believe that it may be something you're doing or not doing, sit down and evaluate yourself and what you've done in the past. Maybe there is a bad habit you aren't aware of or maybe you need to do more to show your personality either in front of the camera or when you're talking with clients.

BUT don't overanalyze yourself too much or you'll go nuts! Constructive criticism is better than bashing. There have been wonderful castings that I've attended that would have been huge for my resume and portfolio that I ended up not getting. I get down about it for maybe 10 minutes and then I shake myself out of it and go on with my day.

It takes some time to master but getting over rejection or multiple rejections takes having a thick skin and lots of self confidence. For each gig I didn't get, I ended up getting a different one that was just as good--if not better--than the last. Things do happen for a reason so don't feel like you're a bad model if you aren't booking every casting you get sent to or try out for.

As with anything else, rejection is a part of the industry. With all the competition out there, it's unrealistic to imagine that we can all book the great gigs so stick to what works for you and as long as you try your best each time, that's all that matters.

Monday, February 4, 2008

How to Measure Yourself


It goes without saying that all models should know their measurements. However, if you've never measured yourself or been measured, it's understandable that you wouldn't even know where to begin. So first thing's first: understand what measurements are important and how to find them.

When you see the measurements: 34-24-34...those are the numbers that represent the bust/chest size, waist, and the hips of a person, male or female, in inches. It goes in that exact order every time.

As far as how to get yourself measured, most of you should have a regular measuring tape laying around somewhere in your house. It's best to use the flimsy kind that you can wrap around yourself and is used specifically for sewing or tailoring, and not the kind that comes with a metal backing (like the type you but at the hardware store).

It's better to have someone other than yourself do the measuring because that gets you the most accurate numbers. You can get one of your best friends to do it, your brother or sister or one of your parents. Or you can go to any local seamstress or tailor shop and they can do a professional measuring for you, usually at no cost. Victoria's Secret also does measuring but mostly for figuring out your bra size, but it doesn't hurt to ask if they can do your waist and hips too the next time you stop in to shop.

Here are some tips for how to get the right measurements (guys and girls):

Bust

- With your arms at your side, place the tape measure around the fullest part of your chest, under your arms.
- Make sure that the tape measure remains parallel to the floor.
- The length indicated on the tape measure is your bust measurement.

Waist

- While standing, wrap the tape measure around your natural waistline.
- Keep the tape comfortably loose.
- The length indicated on the tape measure is your waist measurement.

Hips

- While standing with your feet together, wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your body between your waist and your knees. This is approximately 8 inches below your waist.
- Make sure that the tape measure remains parallel to the floor.
- The length indicated on the tape measure is your hip measurement.

While these measurements can be universal for both guys and gals, the fellas have a few more specific measurements they need to know. Fitting a male model for a suit is much different than fitting a female model for a dress so guys, take note:

Neck

- Measure the circumference of your neck just above the base and around your Adam's apple.
- Place two fingers between your neck and the tape measure.
- The length indicated on the tape measure is your neck size.

Arm/Sleeve

- With your arm bent slightly, put your hand on your hip.
- Start the tape measure at the center of the back of your neck.
- Run the tape measure across the top of your shoulder, down to the elbow, and then to your wrist.
- The length indicated on the tape measure is your arm/sleeve length.

Chest

- Standing with your arms at your side, place the tape measure around the fullest part of your chest, under your arms.
- Ensure that the tape measure remains parallel to the ground.
- Place two fingers between the tape measure and your body.
- The length indicated on the tape measure is your chest measurement.

Inseam (Can also apply to female measurements as well)

- Lay flat a pair of pants that fit you well.
- Using a measuring tape, measure from the crotch seam to the bottom of the pant along the seam.
- The length indicated on the tape measure is your inseam.

Sometimes you'll see a measurement asking for the "lower hip." As opposed to your regular hip measurements, which puts the measuring tape a little above your butt, this is the measurement for how wide your hips are including your butt. So that means you should place the tape loosely but snug right around the middle of your backside. That is the lower hip measurement. It isn't always used but it may come up at one time or another.